Olivia Rodrigo opens up about breaking away from Disney and her fears after whirlwind fame

Los Angeles, California - After the release of her acclaimed sophomore album, Olivia Rodrigo has opened up about her rapid rise to fame following her exit from the Disney Channel and transition into the music industry.

Olivia Rodrigo reflected on her swift rise to fame following the overnight success of her debut single, drivers license.
Olivia Rodrigo reflected on her swift rise to fame following the overnight success of her debut single, drivers license.  © collage: KEVIN WINTER / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

On Monday, the 20-year-old singer dished on her growing career in a candid chat on The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast.

In the interview, Olivia reflected on her early days on the Disney Channel and the precautions she took to ensure creative control as she transitioned from acting to singing.

Her ability to move seamlessly from starring in children's TV shows to making her own music slapped with the always-scandalous parental advisory label is unusual for former Disney darlings — and it was entirely intentional.

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"I've really had the privilege of having people work with me who are really, actually looking out for my best interests," she said. "So I could sign to whatever label I wanted to — I had that carved out of my Disney deal — and getting my masters. In every aspect of the business, I've just always wanted to forge a path for myself that will never infringe upon any of my creative decisions."

The push for artists to own their masters from the jump has moved into the limelight thanks to Taylor Swift's chart-topping re-recordings, a move made to de-value the original versions of her first six albums that she lost control of in a controversial buy-and-sell deal by music exec Scooter Braun.

Interestingly, Olivia wasn't exactly done with Disney when she struck gold with her debut single drivers license; instead, she returned to the set of Disney+'s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series amid her whirlwind rise to the top.

Olivia Rodrigo reflects on her whirlwind rise after 2021's SOUR

Olivia Rodrigo admitted she was afraid of not meeting expectations while working on her sophomore album, GUTS.
Olivia Rodrigo admitted she was afraid of not meeting expectations while working on her sophomore album, GUTS.  © MATT WINKELMEYER / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

The traitor artist said that the show's cast and crew didn't treat her differently, and, in many ways, she didn't understand the weight of her achievements with 2021's SOUR.

After her swift rise to international fame, Olivia admitted that she struggled with the pressures facing her as she worked on her sophomore album, GUTS.

"I was 19 years old, and I was like, 'Wait, is all my best work behind me?!" she admitted. "Which is a crazy thing to think when you're 19 years old — your whole life is ahead of you, like the song says."

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"But I think it just succinctly captured not only my fear of making a sophomore record but my fear of just growing up in general."

Thankfully, she proved her fears wrong with GUTS, scoring acclaim from fans and critics alike and earning six Grammy nominations in the process.

Olivia hasn't stopped writing since then, recently releasing Can't Catch Me Now for the soundtrack of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

She told the podcast that the chance to write from the perspective of the character Lucy Gray Baird was a refreshing change of pace, adding, "It was just a real fun challenge."

Cover photo: collage: KEVIN WINTER / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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